Keeping in view of rising Covid19 cases, the Centre has restricted the supply of oxygen for industrial purposes.

The Union home secretary on Sunday wrote to the chief secretaries of states and administrators of Union territories in this regard.

The chief secretaries were asked to take necessary measures to prohibit supply of oxygen for industrial purpose, except in nine industries as stated in the letter of the Union Health & Family Welfare Secretary on April 18, 2021.

The step has been taken for rapid rise in Covid19 cases in various parts of the country and the resultant rapid demand for medical oxygen in the high-burden states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan.

The letter of the Union home secretary follows the decision taken by the Central government on Sunday on the recommendations of the Empowered Group-II.

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The Empowered Group-II recommended that the supply of oxygen for industrial purposes by manufacturers and suppliers should be prohibited (except in 9 industries) forthwith from April 22, 2021 till further orders, so as to augment supply for medical oxygen in the country and to save precious lives

The country has been facing an unprecedented surge in the new daily cases of COVID in various states and UTs across the country.

The requirement for medical oxygen is a critical component in the treatment of COVID-affected patients.

“In view of the recent surge in the country of COVID19 cases, the requirement of oxygen for effective clinical treatment of COVID patients has also witnessed a manifold hike,” the Union health ministry said in a statement.

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has conveyed that this has already reached about 60% of the total daily oxygen production, and is expected to rise further.

There have been reports of shortage of medical oxygen from some states and UTs.

“Government of India has been regularly monitoring and ensuring smooth supply of essential medical equipment including medical oxygen to the affected states and addressing challenges that arise from time to time,” the ministry said.

The Empowered Group-II (EG-II) headed by Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade (DPIIT) is mandated by Govt. of India to manage requisite supplies of medical equipments, drugs including medical oxygen across the country.

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